Nagpur: The chief conservator of forest (CCF), Nagpur Circle, has suspended four foresters on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the illicit felling of teak trees in protected forest areas early this month.
Any type of felling under Section 32 of the Indian Forest Act 1927 is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to Rs500 or both.
Those suspended include range forest officer (RFO) of Kondhali PN Humne, round officer RY Sable, forest surveyor VG Gurav and forest guard SS Maraskolhe.
The suspension orders were issued by CCF TSK Reddy on the recommendation of Nagpur deputy conservator of forest (DyCF) G Mallikarjuna after prima facie involvement of these foresters came to fore.
According to sources, based on a complaint by a local resident, DFO (vigilance) had conducted an inquiry and submitted a report about felling of 280 trees in compartment number 154 in Murti.
The trees were felled under the garb of permission to fell trees on a farm (khasra) of Pravin Ajabrao Manne. However, foresters tried to point fingers at taluka land record (TLR) officials who ostensibly showed it to be revenue land.
However, senior officials said it was the duty of the Kondhali officials to verify the claims of the farmer before granting any permission to fell trees.